New position for Mazda Motorsports will help support grassroots Mazda racers
Mazda Motorsports is happy to announce a new member to the team who will be supporting the entire Motorsports program, with a focus on grassroots racing. Josh Smith will help build Mazda Motorsports’ competition parts selection, be available to competitors on the phone for parts and technical consult, and support Mazda racers at many race events.
“I will be providing technical assistance to club racers, focused around SCCA Majors and NASA Nationals events,” explains Smith. “I’ll be assisting the competition parts team, and basically be a liaison between racers and the manufacturer as well as between the manufacturer and sanctioning bodies.”
One of Josh Smith’s responsibilities will be to support Mazda competitors in the Southeast. Smith, formerly of Spec Miata prep shop Panic Motorsports, will be traveling to the SCCA Southeast Majors events, many Hoosier Super Tour events, and others. While the on-hand work will be focused in the Southeast, what is learned will translate to the entire motorsport program.
Smith will have to hit the ground running, as the competition season in SCCA’s Southeast Conference starts the first weekend in January with a Majors race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, followed by another a week later at Sebring International Raceway. He’ll be joined at those events by Manager of Business Development David Cook – who will be relocating to Florida – and Steve Strickland, who will help provide parts support.
“We are establishing a support program based in the Southeast,” says Cook. “We want to provide a better customer experience for loyal Mazda competitors. With many in the Southeast, this makes strategic sense. We’re going to provide technical support, parts support and other general support at the track. No other auto manufacturer is doing this. We’ll be partnering with Steve Strickland to offer parts that racers may not be able to find at the track in an effort to help keep them racing in the event of an unplanned need. But this initiative’s reach extends much further. By getting more involved with our racers and shops at the tracks, we will be able to translate what we learn to benefit the entire motorsports program. This effort will help us bolster our parts offerings, enhance our contingency program, and simply provide better overall support to all of our racers and shops.”
Cook says to look for social events where Smith will be on hand to answer questions for Mazda and non-Mazda racers alike.
Smith has undergone technical training for a number of automotive brands, but his most recent experience at Panic Motorsports is perhaps most applicable to his new position.
“Currently, I’m the shop foreman,” Smith says. “I’m in charge of the day-to-day operations as far as keeping the shop productive. I work on the construction of new race cars, and do the majority of dyno and engine tuning work.”
Smith says he’s looking forward to making the most of this opportunity with Mazda Motorsports and the development of the program. “I’m really excited to be a part of Mazda,” he says. “I race Spec Miata myself, and I own an RX-7. Being able to help people on a broader scale, rather than just someone who walks into the shop, and to have access to the information to help is what I’m looking forward to the most.”